CRN Exclusive: RingCentral's Enterprise Charge Continues With New Google, Avant Partnerships
RingCentral is continuing its biggest charge ever into the enterprise market this year by forming a new partnership with Avant Communications and Google with plans to ramp up enterprise sales through the channel.
The cloud-based unified communications specialist unveiled a new premier master agent partnership with Chicago-based distributor Avant, a unified communications and cloud services provider that focuses on IT consulting -- marking the third master agent partnership RingCentral has formed in 2016 under its new channel chief, Zane Long.
"When you think about what we're doing with these master agents, what we're doing with Google and our new [enterprise-grade] products, it's garnering more interest from enterprise-based customers and for channel partners to think RingCentral first," said Long, vice president of channel sales, in an interview with CRN. "Avant targets enterprise-type customers. So this relationship will generate the type of leads we're looking for to generate enterprise revenues."
Belmont, Calif.-based RingCentral has also enhanced its partnership with Google, targeting midsize to large enterprises that are making the transition to the cloud through its new RingCentral Office Google Edition solution. The offer includes Google Apps Unlimited with unlimited storage, and a new edition of RingCentral Office that integrates with Google Apps and Google Hangouts. The cost is $30 per user per month and will initially be sold exclusively through channel partners starting later this summer, according to Long.
Long said to help further push its Google relationship into the enterprise, RingCentral is actively seeking to onboard Google channel partners.
"These are partners that do work to sell Google products and services. So we are really focusing on that segment of partners to bring into the organization and we're excited about what that could mean for us," said Long.
The Unified Communications-as-a-Service market is growing at an annual rate of 16 percent, with revenue from UCaaS currently at more than $4 billion, according to Synergy Research Group. Research firm IHS said more than half the enterprises in North America this year will be running at least some of their unified communications applications in the cloud.
On the master agent front, RingCentral has partnered this year with Telarus, TBI and now with Avant. The Avant alliance aligns with RingCentral's push to become a major player in the U.K. market abroad, as Avant has opened a sales office in London.
Drew Lydecker, founder and president of Avant, says UCaaS sales are a key driver to Avant's "massive growth" this year.
"UCaaS is really one of the first bedrocks of our growth and the start of this age of disruption that the market is creating for everyone," said Lydecker, in an interview with CRN. "RingCentral being a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader, a company who consistently is investing in what they have and they're moving internationally -- all of which fits the enterprise customer."
With more than 300,000 customers, RingCentral was named a Leader in UCaaS in Gartner's UCaaS Magic Quadrant this year. The research firm ranked RingCentral as the No. 1 vendor in the world for UCaaS vision.
"We've had deals as big as 16,000 seats and sweet spots from 500 to 1,000 seats, and that's really where RingCentral wants to hang their hats," Lydecker said. "It's great to see them go upmarket and for us to be a part of it, and want to have continued success in the large enterprise with us -- that's why it's such a natural fit for both companies."
RingCentral is also bolstering its channel partners in 2016 like never before through new initiatives, which recently resulted in its strongest quarter ever for indirect sales.